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Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes New Law Prohibiting Forced Religious Conversion

(Dec. 22, 2016) On November 24, 2016, the provincial assembly of Pakistan’s Sindh Province passed a new law called the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Act, 2015, which prohibits forced religious conversions.  (Hufsa Chaudhry & Imtiaz Mugheri, Sindh Assembly Adopts Bill Against Forced Religious Conversions, DAWN (Nov. 24, 2016).) The private bill was proposed in December […]

Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes Law to Establish Commission for Protection of Minority Rights

(Dec. 19, 2016) In what Assembly-member Nand Kumar Goklani called “a victory for the entire province,” Pakistan’s Sindh Province Assembly has unanimously adopted a private bill to establish a commission to protect the rights of religious minorities.  (Sindhi Assembly Stamps Commission for Minorities, NATION (Nov. 18, 2016).)  The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Bill, 2015, was […]

Greece: Parliament Approves Building of First Mosque in Athens

(Aug. 16, 2016) On August 4, 2016, following long and tumultuous debates among members of the Greek Muslim community, various Greek governments, and the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek Parliament approved the building of a mosque in Athens.  The permit for the plan was included in a law dealing with energy matters.  (New Regime to […]

Bahrain: High Court Orders Dissolution of Main Shi’ite Opposition Group

(July 22, 2016) On July 17, 2016, the High Civil Court of Manama, Bahrain ordered the dissolution of the Wefaq National Islamic Society. The Court’s ruling ordered the liquidation of the organization’s assets and froze all of its banks accounts. (High Court Dissolves al Wefaq, BAHRAIN NEWS AGENCY (July 7, 2016).) The Court rendered its […]

Russia: New Law Regulates Missionary Work

(July 14, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed the recently adopted Federal Law No. 374 on Amending the Federal Law on Counterterrorism and Select Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Creation of Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public Safety. (Federal Law No. 374, PRAVO.GOV.RU […]

Iraq/ICC: Investigation of ISIL Crimes Urged by Religious Minority

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 24, 2015, members of the Yazidi minority religious community in Iraq met with Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They filed a report with details of attacks on the community carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since August 2014. The […]

Burma: Four “Race and Religion Protection Laws” Adopted

(Sept. 14, 2015) Four laws known collectively as the Race and Religion Protection Laws, which were submitted to the Parliament of Burma (Myanmar) in December 2014, were adopted this spring by the Parliament and recently signed by Thein Sein, Burma’s President. (Myanmar: Parliament Must Reject Discriminatory ‘Race and Religion’ Laws, Amnesty International website (Mar. 3, […]

United Arab Emirates: New Law Banning Discrimination

(July 22, 2015) On July 20, 2015, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity. The law also bans discrimination on the grounds of caste, doctrine, color, or race. (Steven Wildberger, UAE Issues Religious Tolerance Law, PAPER CHASE (July 21, 2015).) The Attorney-General of the […]

Indonesia: Law Proposed to Protect Religious Minorities

(June 11, 2015) Indonesia’s government has proposed a law on the protection of religious minorities. It is currently listed as in committee with the legislature, the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat. (Rancangan Undang-Undang Tentang Perlindungan Umat Beragama [Draft Law on the Protection of Religious Communities], Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat website (last visited June 8, 2015).) While some leaders […]

Russia: Bill Approved to Allow Foreign Organizations to Be Declared Undesirable

(Feb. 24, 2015) On January 20, 2015, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (the lower chamber of the legislature) approved on the first reading a draft law that amends several legislative acts regulating the activities of foreign and international organizations working in Russia, including religious ones. (Bill No. 662902-6, Russian legislative database (in Russian) […]